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Prednisone

 
  Generic Name: PredniSONE (PRED ni sone)
 
  Brand Names: Meticorten, Sterapred, Sterapred DS  
     
   
 

What is prednisone?

Prednisone is in a class of drugs called corticosteroids. Prednisone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.

Prednisone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about prednisone

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to prednisone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.

Before taking prednisone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.

Your steroid medication needs may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you during treatment.

Prednisone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are taking prednisone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are taking a steroid.

Do not stop using prednisone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping prednisone. Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking a steroid, in case of emergency.

Before taking prednisone

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to prednisone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.

Prednisone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Before taking prednisone, tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take prednisone:

  • liver disease (such as cirrhosis);

  • kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • diabetes;

  • a history of malaria;

  • tuberculosis;

  • osteoporosis;

  • a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;

  • glaucoma or cataracts;

  • herpes infection of the eyes;

  • stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis;

  • depression or mental illness;

  • congestive heart failure; or

  • high blood pressure

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether prednisone is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Prednisone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use prednisone without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Steroids can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using prednisone.

How should I take prednisone?

Take prednisone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from prednisone.

Your steroid medication needs may change if you have unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you.

Measure the liquid form of prednisone with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Prednisone can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

Do not stop using prednisone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping prednisone . Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking a steroid, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking steroid medication.

Store this medicine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, contact your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

A single large dose of prednisone is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms. However, long-term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What should I avoid while taking prednisone?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with prednisone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are taking a steroid.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking prednisone.

Prednisone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to prednisone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • problems with your vision;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;

  • pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);

  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious prednisone side effects may include:

  • sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;

  • acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;

  • slow wound healing;

  • increased sweating;

  • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • nausea, stomach pain, bloating; or

  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect prednisone?

There are many other medicines that can interact with steroids. Below is only a partial list of these medicines:

  • aspirin (taken on a daily basis or at high doses);

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • insulin or diabetes medications you take by mouth;

  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane); or

  • seizure medications such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with prednisone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about prednisone.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use prednisone only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 06/26/2009 9:30:32 AM.
 
 
 
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